“Want to see a magic trick? I can make matter disappear.”Ana Carter
Keir Burrows’ debut feature is a thoughtful low-budget sci-fi thriller that poses fascinating questions even if its exploration of these ideas is limited. The premise is that an Oxford PhD student finds herself unable to form memories after testing an experiment that transports matter. Funnelling the experience solely through Ana’s perspective is a stylistic strength but a narrative weakness: it creates a heightened sense of intellectual paranoia, reminiscent of Aranofsky’s Pi, but it also means the audience’s information is limited and unreliable. Ana does not so much discover the truth as have it revealed to her at the end, so only partial glimpses can be discerned by an astute viewer during the film. This will frustrate those who are not content simply to ruminate on the film’s underlying philosophical quandaries — the fundamental question is what it means to transport the matter which makes up a person, but Anti Matter looks beyond this to questions about the relationship between memory and identity. Whilst the vehicle may be science fiction, this experiment is ultimately a blend of philosophy and paranoia rather than science.
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